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On The Front Lines

Everyday The Rutherford Institute is waging a battle to protect the human rights and civil liberties of all people. Whether challenging undue government suppression of civil liberties in the courts or calling upon political leaders to strengthen their commitment to universal moral values, The Rutherford Institute works tirelessly to maintain the rights enshrined in the Constitution, and regain those that have been lost to government intrusion.

On the Front Lines (Rutherford Press Alerts) will keep you abreast of the most recent actions The Rutherford Institute has undertaken in its fight for human rights and civil liberties. From pending litigation to victories for human rights and civil liberties, On the Front Lines is the place to find information on the most pressing issues of the day. The Rutherford Institute is waging for our rights in the courts and beyond. On The Front Lines will keep you up-to-date on the crucial battles

Recent Articles

May 15, 2019

In a rebuke to the practice of subjecting prisoners to solitary confinement, a federal appeals court has held that a Virginia prison violated the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment by confining death row inmates to parking-space sized cells in virtual isolation. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that conditions at Sussex I State Prison were “dehumanizing” and ordered prison officials to make permanent changes mitigating the conditions, including allowing death row inmates to have contact visits with family and opportunities for recreational and religious activities. The Rutherford Institute and American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed an amicus brief with the appeals court in Porter v. Clarke urging it to uphold an injunction against prison officials, arguing that a binding court order was necessary to ensure that state officials abide by the court’s ruling on the inmates’ Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel punishment and to prevent the harsh conditions of isolation being re-imposed upon the prisoners.

April 25, 2019

Individuals who engage in controversial and unpopular political or artistic expression, by criticizing the police for example, can be labeled terrorists and subject to prosecution and suppression by the government as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a lower court ruling in Knox v. Pennsylvania. By refusing to hear the case of rapper Jamal Knox (a.k.a. “Mayhem Mal”), who was charged with making terroristic threats after posting a song critical of police on Facebook and YouTube, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved the government’s expansion of the definition of “true threats.” According to The Rutherford Institute, this could have significant chilling effects on online communications and controversial art forms, including expressive activity shared through social media such as Facebook and YouTube, particularly in an age when the government engages in unprecedented monitoring of new and ever-changing forms of expression, online and otherwise.

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